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by Jeremy Korzeniewski on Feb 26th 2010 at 2:32PM
Each year that Consumer Reports offers up its annual list of Top American Picks, it seems less and less a consolation bracket and more like a reasonable set of choices. To wit, if you wanted the very best family-sized SUV (Chevrolet Traverse) or fullsize pickup truck (Chevrolet Silverado), Consumer Reports will tell you that you're best off choosing American, regardless of which list its from.

Further, CR has found the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan twins have proven to be more reliable than a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. Blasphemy, you say? To borrow a marketing phrase from the Blue Oval itself, Drive One and find out for yourself. We have, and we found out that it's a great car. Apparently, it's also reliable. Not surprisingly, the Fusion managed to earn two more awards in its hybrid guise, including CR's Best Overall Car.

All told, seven of the 10 awards handed out by CR went to Ford...



  • Small Car: The Ford Focus is the clear pick here. However, the Focus scores quite a bit below other small-car competitiors. We're looking forward to the 2012 Focus previewed at this year's Detroit auto show, as well as the Chevrolet Cruze.
  • Family sedan: There are a lot of excellent family sedans on the market from both foreign and domestic brands. Our highest-scoring domestic family sedans are the Ford Fusion and its twin, the Mercury Milan. These well-rounded cars are very reliable. The Chevrolet Malibu doesn't score far behind.
  • Sporty car: We define sporty car as something fun-to-drive and reasonably affordable. The Ford Mustang GT is a blast and surprisingly easy to live with. Like the Fusion, the Mustang benefited from a thorough 2010 freshening. The Chevrolet Cobalt SS scores the same as the Mustang. A long way from the rental-grade Cobalt sedan, the turbocharged SS is a lot of fun, but we don't have reliability data and thus can't recommend it.
  • Small SUV: The V6 versions of the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain twins are our top-rated small domestic SUVs, but we can’t recommend the Equinox and Terrain because we don’t have reliability data for this new model. The V6 and hybrid-powered Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner both tie the four-cylinder Equinox and Terrain in overall score, and we can recommend the Escape and Mariner because they have average or better reliability. That said, both of these domestic SUVs score significantly below the best foreign competition.
  • Family SUV: Domestics compete strongly in this category. The Chevrolet Traverse is this year's Top Pick for Family SUV. The GMC Acadia is essentially the same car, but the later-introduced Traverse has better reliability in our data. (The Traverse's reliability benefited from working out bugs from the Acadia.) The Ford Flex doesn't score far behind.
  • Sports sedan: The Cadillac CTS does very well in our tests, outscoring sedans from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but it hasn't been reliable enough to recommend. The Lincoln MKZ is more of an upscale version of the Fusion rather than an apex-clipping sports sedan, but it has been very reliable and scores well.
  • Green car: This is an easy pick. The Ford Fusion Hybrid is enjoyable to drive and gets an impressive 34 mpg overall in our tests. The domestics haven't managed a high-mileage Prius-beater yet, but the Chevrolet Volt and Ford Focus EV are on the horizon.
  • Family hauler: In our primary Top Pick list, this went to the Mazda5. It's very practical with three rows of seats, but is smaller, more efficient, and less-expensive ($23,000) than a normal minivan. This mini-minivan doesn't have domestic competition yet, but the Chevrolet Orlando and Ford C-Max are on the horizon. As for full-sized minivans, the only domestic offering is the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan twins. But their reliability is well below average, so they aren't recommended.
  • Pickup truck: The Chevrolet Avalanche is our top-scoring truck, but its reliability has fallen below average this year. Beyond that, you can basically pick a domestic pickup truck based on your brand preferences. The Silverado is our Top Pick for pickups; it outscores the Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram, but not by much. All three trucks have average reliability.
  • Best Car Overall: This category goes to the top-scoring recommended car in our tests. The awesome Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is our highest scoring domestic-branded car, but its reliability is below average. The highest-scoring recommended domestic car is the Ford Fusion Hybrid.
 

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with sundried tomato eating Italians in Charge? Good luck. Europeans suck at Quality.
^ that was why I really enjoyed adding the "broken clock is right TWICE a day", Tahoe ;)
(not to pick on Chrysler - I hope to see them up there in the future!)


2nd apology for messing up your post, Tahoe
I'm still getting used to being able to 'mod' things
 
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